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Trees/Redbud infestation by wood borers?



redbud trunk
redbud trunk  
Hello Jim, I'm in serious need of advice to save my redbud tree!
I recently noticed that 2 of the 4 split-off trunks from the main base trunk of my tree didn't produce any flowers this Spring (I'm in Northern NJ).  At first I thought it was because we've been having such strange weather. But now the flowers have turned to leaves on the 2 healthy trunks/branches, while the other 2 remain totally bare and dead looking. I then noticed that those bare trunks' barks looked different and when I poked at their bark, the bark just fell away revealing the trunks are full of dark brown/black squishy material (instead of what I assume a healthy tree inside looks like) teaming with white-to-tan colored larvae (uugggghhhh).  Can you please tell me how I can save my tree?  Itís the only one left in my yard and I really love it. Its already taller than my 3-story house and I don't want to start over with a baby tree. I'm contemplating cutting the 2 diseased trunks away from the main base trunk then spraying the base trunk and remaining 2 healthy trunks/branches with a wood borer pesticide. So far the research I've done, states this should be done in the Fall/Winter, but I need to save my tree now!!  

I would cut the dead branches and/or trunks and treat the remaining with an insecticide call Bayer Advanced tree and shrub insect control.

This is a soil applied insecticide and the tree roots will take it up and kill any insect at feeds on the tree like borers. You can spray the trunk with an insecticide called Merit this is the same acttive ingredient as the other product . The soil applied will take a couple of weeks to a month to get into the trees system the spray in almost at once. The insecticde should be applied now for best results (growing season). The cutting of the ded branches can be done at any time of the year now is good.  


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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